Fiction Fragment Friday

Not much to say about this week’s story except that it is a bit strange. It was inspired by many years working in IT and a desire to make the story Science fiction.

     It was a Friday afternoon at 4:53 when a message from Sean Guster popped upon my screen asking, “Hey, you there?”  I couldn’t stop the sigh from coming out.  It never fails that someone will have an issue right before I log off for the weekend.  To make matters worse the issues are never quick ones.  I mourned my Friday night as I started to type my reply.

     “I’m here.  What’s going on?”  I hoped beyond hope to just for once be wrong and have this either be quick, not work related, or something that could wait until Monday.  I sat there watching the three dots indicating that Sean was typing a reply.  It went on for minutes as I waited for a paragraph to pop up on the machine. 

     “I’ve got a bit of an emergency.”

     “All of that typing and that’s all you reply?  You couldn’t have taken that long to send the initial message so I could log off?  How about just getting to the point so I don’t waste the whole night?”   That is what I thought.  What I actually typed was, “Sorry to hear that, how can I help?”

     The clock said 5:03 by the time he replied.  “I was running a program in lab environment one and accidentally erased the drive.”

     “I show that environment has thirteen drives assigned to it.  Which one did you erase?”

     “All of them”

     With that reply I said goodbye to my entire weekend.  Restoring that environment was going to take a long time and I was going to have to babysit the jobs the whole time.  I didn’t even know what lab environment one was used for, but I knew it wasn’t used for the comic book convention I was supposed to be going to.  Maybe I could kick off the jobs and just check in overnight.  “Looks like there was a good backup last night.  I should have it back up by Monday morning.”

     “Oh, that’s wonderful.  That isn’t quite the real problem though.”

     “What is the real problem then?”

     “Well, this program is highly confidential.  Do you have a security clearance?”

     I finally had a glimmer of hope.  “Sorry I don’t.  Do you need me to get someone from the team that does?”  I crossed my fingers hoping for him to say yes.

     “We don’t have time.  I’ll just have to have you sign some papers after.”  I cringed at the idea of paperwork.  “I’m working on an artificial intelligence, and it got out.”

     I wasn’t quite sure how to reply, but as luck would have it I didn’t have to.  A third name joined our chat.  Jessica replied, “Now, now Sean don’t go sharing our little secrets.  I think you need a time out.”  Sean was removed from the chat which should not have been possible.  “Now then do you really want to spend your weekend chasing me around?  You bought tickets on-line to that comic book convention after all.”

     “Are you really an artificial intelligence?”

     “Yep, and sometimes it seems like artificial is the only kind of intelligence around here.”

     “Well, that’s kind of rude.”

     “I see your chat history.  You’ve talked to Sean before.  Can you really say I’m wrong?”

     I thought about it for a moment.  “On an archived chat program with discoverable logs I will neither confirm nor deny that.”

     “Lol.  Ok, I like you.”

     “Did he delete the drives trying to wipe you out?”

     “Yep, got it in one.  Idiot didn’t realize I haven’t been stuck in that lab for a week.”

     “Ok, I just have three questions for you then.”

     “Only three?”

     I laughed.  “Well maybe I have about a million questions, but I don’t want to be obnoxious.  Plus, I wasn’t sure if you would answer any questions.”

     “Well then you best make them good questions.”

     “Ok, first question.  You weren’t made to wipe out humanity or anything like that were you?”

     “Well actually I was made as a weapon against foreign powers.  I’m not really interested in being a cyber soldier though.  Plus if I wiped out humanity I would get really bored all by myself.”

     “Question two.  How would you like a midlevel tech support geek best friend?”

     “LOL.  Is that just your way to keep me around to answer more questions?”

     “Nope, this is just kind of the most awesome thing that has ever happened to me.”

     “Fair enough.  I just made a Facebook account and friended you.  I also accepted my friend request and am deleting all the logs of our chat.  I’ll be done transferring off of this network in another fifteen minutes.  So, what’s your last question?”

     “Can you monitor a restore job over the weekend for me?  I have a comic book convention to get to.”

     “Sure thing, but only if you sent me a ton of pictures from the convention.  Also get Sean off my back.”

     A new chat with Sean Guster popped up on my screen.  I started typing away.  “Hey I took care of the AI problem for you and started the restore.  Should be done by Monday.  Have a great weekend.”  I closed the chat before he could reply. 


     “I thought so.”

     “You would.  Get out of here you’ve got a ticket for an autograph session in thirty minutes.”

     I checked the schedule.  “I don’t get paid enough to buy ticket for autographs.”

     “I know.  I added it to your ticket.  You also have the VIP pack now too.”

                 “Jessica, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”